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Amazing Solstice Rituals – the Waldorf Solstice Spiral

Looking for amazing winter solstice rituals for your family or homeschool? Here’s how to host a Waldorf Solstice Spiral with your homeschool or family to celebrate the return of light.Waldorf-Winter-Solstice-Spiral-featured_

*This post is republished from 2015. We no longer homeschool, but the amazing solstice rituals like this Waldorf Solstice Sprial remain one of my favorite homeschool activities ever.

Celebrate Winter with a Waldorf Solstice Spiral

The Waldorf Solstice Spiral is an annual tradition in our homeschool. It’s a wonderful way to teach kids about the longest day of the year and it’s a fun activity everyone enjoys as we welcome the return of light back into our dreary, short winter days. Here’s how we celebrate the winter solstice Waldorf style.

I first learned about Waldorf Homeschooling activities from my good friend Melanie from Many Hands House. She used to host amazing Waldorf Homeschool Days and the Solstice Spiral was one of my favorite activities. I was excited to take over the Solstice Spiral this year and host it myself for the first time. Since we moved out of the barn and into the Passive House, we have the perfect place to host this fun annual event – the barn where we used to live.

Winter Solstice Spiral 2015 - ring in the light from SimplifyLiveLove.comHere’s how to host your own Waldorf Solstice Spiral

If you’re interested in solemn winter solstice rituals, you’ll enjoy this one. The trickiest part about it is finding a safe place to house the spiral. Lit candles are involved, so you’ll want to make sure you don’t burn the house down if you host it inside. You could host it outside, if the weather cooperates. Or, you could set it up in a garage or barn like we did, if you don’t want to bring it indoors.

Once you decide on the location, you’ll need a few supplies:

  • Pine boughs – I bought roughly 100 ft from Menards. The skinnier ones were half the price of the longer boughs so that’s what I bought. We ended up doubling them to make them look nice.
  • Yellow felt stars – one per child
  • Apples – one per child, hollowed out to hold a candle
  • Candles – one per child to put in each apple, plus a larger candle to light the apple lights from.
  • Animal figures, rocks, pine cones – to represent the animal, mineral, natural worlds placed around the spiral

How to Host the Most Amazing Solstice Rituals

Set the spiral ring up before hand. Place felt stars (one per child) along the path so children have a place to put their lit apple. Also place the figurines, rocks, and other items in the spiral. Darken the room by covering windows and turn out the lights. Explain to the children that they will light their candles and place them on a star in silence. Discuss the solstice and and the significance of starting (and ending) the spiral in darkness.

waiting in line for the solstice spiral

The room should be as dark as possible and the children line up first outside the room, littlest to biggest. The littlest children need to go first because there will be fewer lit candles for them to have to avoid.

Winter Solstice Spiral 2015 lighting a candle from SimplifyLiveLove.comThen, one by one, the children weave through the spiral with their apples and candles, light their candle, and then turn around and weave back through. At some point on their exit from the spiral, each child will find a star to place his or her candle on. Talking is not allowed, but soft music can play. Melanie always had someone playing a flute, but we did our spiral in silence.
Winter Solstice Spiral 2015 setting the lit candle down from SimplifyLiveLove.comObviously, younger children may need some help, and all children should be careful not to burn themselves. In all the years that we’ve been doing a solstice spiral, we’ve never had any issues.

Winter Solstice Spiral 2015 - silenting waiting for everyone to finish from SimplifyLiveLove.com

After each child lights his or her candle, they wait for everyone to finish. Then the children leave the room, still in silence. I’m always amazed at the reverence the children exhibit during the solstice spiral. They take it quite seriously and seem to enjoy it a lot.

The winter solstice spiral is one of my favorite homeschooling activities. I love that it represents the return of light – after the solstice the days start to get longer and the promise of spring is real. I look forward to the beauty of solemness of the winter solstice spiral all year.

If you’d like to see other Waldorf homeschooling posts, read these:

Dying play silks with kool-aid

Spring Wheat Baskets

How to host a Waldorf Solstice Spiral to Celebrate the Winter Solstice

 

Make Sure to Stop at the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum

Labeled the most popular tourist attraction in Iowa by Time Magazine and TripAdvisor The Iowa 80 Trucking Museum is a fun stop if you’re driving across Iowa on Interstate 80, or happen to be in the area. It’s also a free museum (donations happily accepted), so there’s no reason to skip it!

old concrete truck at the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum

Make Sure to Stop at the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum

I was happy for the diversion earlier in the week at the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum in Walcott, Iowa! We drive by this place all the time and I never even knew it was there.  But it was really quite neat. Not at all what I expected, but very neat nonetheless.

Let me give you a quick tour of some of the things we enjoyed most.electric milk truck at iowa 80 trucking museumAn electric milk truck from the turn of the century – it delivered fresh milk in Chicago for many years. Why could they succeed with electric trucks in the early 1900s but we can’t figure it out today??

mail truck on skiis at the Iowa 80 trucking museumA US Mail truck on skis… 😉 I love to ski. This really cracked me up.

THE wrecker from the movie Fried Green Tomatoes! I don’t really remember the movie much, but it’s still pretty cool, eh?

Wooden peg truck wheels at the Iowa 80 Trucking MuseumPeg wheels made out of wood, anyone? Eh, no thanks…

my 3 cute kids at the Iowa 80 Trucking MuseumThree of my super cute children. I can’t resist an opportunity to show them off! I can’t believe how big they’re all getting!!

Iowa 80 Trucking Museum

Worth a Visit – Iowa 80 Trucking Museum

If you’d like to pop in to the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum, their summer hours (from Memorial Day through Labor Day) are Monday – Saturday 9 am – 5 pm, and Sundays noon – 5pm. In the winter, they’re closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, otherwise the hours are the same.

I appreciate museums like the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum. My small children enjoyed it, I enjoyed it, and it is free if you can’t give a donation. I’m sure everyone has times in their lives when they could use a little free entertainment. This is a fun place to go. Make sure you stop by.

Looking for more attractions in Iowa? Here are some of our favorite places to visit.

American Gothic House Center

Wild Cat Den

Buddy Holly Crash Site

Central Discount Grocery in Kalona

Iowa 80 Trucking Museum

How to Grow Your Own Easter Basket Grass

It’s fun and easy to grow your own Easter Grass!  And it doesn’t even take that all. You only need a few supplies and about a week! So keep reading and try something new this year. Your kids will have a lot fun with this easy Easter project.Grow Your Own Easter Basket Grass with this tutorial. You only need a few days!

*This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small commission if you purchase through my links.*

How to grow your own Easter Basket Grass in less than a week!

Growing your own Easter basket grass is pretty simple process that anyone can do. I’m thrilled that we’re growing our own Easter basket grass this year instead of buying plastic stuff that ends up in the landfill. Growing your own wheat grass baskets has long been a tradition in Waldorf homeschooling circles as a way to welcome spring, and we enjoy it a lot!

Welcome Spring - How to make Waldorf Wheat Grass Baskets-cora

Supplies needed to grow your own Easter Basket Grass

  • Baskets – we picked up 88 cent baskets at Goodwill the other day. They had tons to choose from in all price ranges. I made my kids stick to the 88 cent baskets though because I’m cheap like that. We also have used these metal buckets and love them as well. They are fabulous for repurposing after Easter and using for lots of other projects.
  • Organic potting soil
  • Plastic wrap {or plastic liners for the baskets}
  • Wheat Berries {soaked in water for 24 hours prior} OR grass seed would work fine, too. Wheat berries are the product of the wheat plant and are ground to make flour. You should be able to find them in the organic or bulk section of your grocery store, or you can buy a bag of Bob’s Red Mill wheat berries on Amazon too and have them shipped to your house in two days if you have Amazon Prime.
  • Spray bottle


The most important step: soak the wheat berries overnightWelcome Spring - How to make Waldorf Wheat Grass Baskets-meabh

Mae sure to soak the wheat berries overnight. The night before you plan to start your basket, place the wheat berries in a bowl and cover them with water to soak overnight. I used about 10 cups of wheat berries for the six baskets we made and we had enough to do many  more baskets. Make sure the water covers them completely as they will soak it all up. You can get wheat berries from the bulk section at the grocery store, from a health food store, Amish store, or Azure Standard – you can even order them on Amazon Prime and have them at your door in 2 days. They’re actually a pantry staple I always have on hand since I grind them to make my own flour for bread I bake, like this whole wheat potato bread.

How to make waldorf wheat grass baskets to welcome spring

  • Then, line a basket with plastic wrap if you don’t have a basket liner.
  • Add a couple inches of soil, and then top with the soaked wheat berries.
  • Make sure the berries are still nice and moist. If not, spritz them with a water sprayer.
  • Cover them with plastic wrap to keep in the moisture.
  • Make sure to keep spritzing the berries with water. Don’t let them dry out or they won’t grow.

How to Make Waldorf Wheat Grass Baskets-day 2

On the very next day after you’ve planted the berries, you should already notice them growing! Make sure to keep them moist as they grow. Just keep spraying them with water. You might have to water them every day.

And that’s it – that’s all there is to it.

Here’s how quick it is to grow your own Easter Basket Grass!

Grow your own Easter Wheat Grass Basket

See how fast this grass grows! 4-5 days is all you need my friends! What are you waiting for?

If you liked this post on how to grow your own Easter basket grass, you may like these too:

 hand-dying play silks with kool-aid,

Ukrainian egg decorating,

winter solstice spiral

May Day Pole Dancing.

It's actually a lot easier to grow your own Easter Grass than you may think. And it doesn't even take that all. All you need is a few supplies and about a week! So keep reading and try something new this year!

Welcome Spring! We’re glad you’re back. We’re looking forward to warmth and light.

Is It Your Welcome or You’re Welcome? Which One is Right?

Is it Your welcome or you’re welcome? If you want to be grammatically correct, you need to read this quick answer to a common grammar error!Is it Your Welcome or You're Welcome? If you're second guessing which one is the proper English grammar usage, double check with this quick 5 minute grammar lesson!

*This post contains affiliate links which means I earn me a small commission on your purchase.*

Is it Your welcome or You’re welcome?

Which one is it? YOUR welcome or YOU’RE welcome? This such a common error in texting, on facebook, in blog posts. Everywhere. It’s horrible. And the wrong choice makes me vomit a little bit each time I see this error.

There’s only one right answer, though. Do YOU know which one it is? If you guess, YOU’RE WELCOME, you are correct, my friend!

Why is it You’re welcome anyway?

YOUR is a possessive pronoun. There is nothing possessive in YOUR welcome so you can’t use it in this instance.

The correct answer is YOU’RE welcome. YOU’RE is a contraction for YOU ARE and the technical phrase is YOU ARE WELCOME. Therefore, the second choice is the only one that can be correct.

Should you even say You’re welcome?? 

Saying you’re welcome is something we are taught automatically to do. It’s the polite answer to THANK YOU and it’s ingrained in polite society. The Huffington Post wrote an interesting essay on why you should rethink saying You’re welcome, though. You are welcome essentially means that you accept the gratitude of the person who said thank you. The Huffington Post article offers that a more powerful statement would be, “I know you’d do the same for me.” They argue that statement shifts the balance of power! It’s an interesting article and you can read it here.

Is it Your welcome or you're welcome? Not sure which one? Here's a quick five-minute grammar lesson on the difference between your and you're and when to use which!

If you didn’t know the right answer, YOU’RE WELCOME for this post! 😉

More grammar posts you may like:

How to make the word PEOPLE possessive

Bias or Biased?

Do to or Due to?

Less or Fewer?

Should have gone or Should have went?

If you’re looking for helpful grammar resources, here are my top picks:

Grammarly – Instantly fix over 250 types of errors with this free web-based grammar checker!

Strunk & White Elements of Style

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation 

The Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing